Monday, August 17, 2009

Dressing made hard

Here's a news item about a dispute in the UK: should non-Muslims be required to wear Islamic swimwear during certain hours in public swimming pools in order to meet Muslim requirements? A number of municipal pools in the UK have adopted such a requirement. French authorities are doing the opposite; a woman was told last week she could not wear a 'burkini' in a public pool. To find out just what a burkini is, you have to click on the link! (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

The U.S. Committee on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent bipartisan committee mandated by Congress, recently weighed in on the subject of religious dress. It criticized the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which had upheld a French prohibition on the wearing of religious dress in schools.

USCIRF does good work, but in this case I think it confused religious garb with political/ideological symbols. It's not that big a step to go from allowing Muslims to wear identifying garments to helping them force non-Muslims do the same, as British swimmers are learning.

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